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The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived in B.C.
A Lower Mainland man in his 40s who regularly visits China has been diagnosed with the virus, and is “doing well” in isolation at home.
B.C.’s first patient visited Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new virus was first identified, and reported symptoms after he returned to his home in the Vancouver Coastal Health Region.
Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry, who worked on the 2003 SARS epidemic and also on containing the ebola virus in Africa, said the novel coronavirus is less easily transmitted than common influenza, because its receptors are deeper in the lung. That makes it less likely to contract it from touching contaminated surfaces rather than direct contact.
“As long as you clean your hands before you touch your face or your mouth, you’re not going to get that virus in your body,” Henry said.
China has now reported more than 2,700 cases of the new virus with at least 80 deaths, and officials say the rate at which it’s spreading is accelerating.
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